Philips Sonicare Heads: The Ultimate Guide

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 83940)

Sonicare brush heads explained, compared and reviewed: which is best?

Are you looking for Sonicare toothbrush heads?

Are you confused by the different styles?

Want to know which is the right brush head for you?

In this article I will make things easy.

I explain all the different Philips toothbrush heads and tell you which are best suited to you.

There is also a handy comparison table.

On this page I’ve tried to cover everything you could want to know about Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads – where to buy them, which one’s best, how they work, and more.

Browse the page as normal, or use this list of navigation links to jump to different sections of the article.

If there’s anything more you need to know, please ask in the comments.

For more advice on brush heads – like how to get them cheap and when to replace them – see our brush heads buying guide and faq.

Navigation

What’s the best Sonicare toothbrush head?

All of the Sonicare replacement heads offer slightly different things, engineered slightly differently, to suit different users’ needs and desires.

As a result it is not that simple to say definitively which is ‘the best’.

However, I know  simple answers are best, so I have done our best to break things down a bit.

Have a read over the sections below to see which brush head appeals to you the most. And be sure to check out the rest of this article if you need any more information – I’ve covered as much as possible, but if you’ve got any questions, ask in the comments.

Best all-round Philips Sonicare head

You want to opt for the ProResults or the C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush heads.

Both brush heads offer a superior all round cleaning performance, ideal for daily use.

The C2 Optimal Plaque Defence is better suited to those brush handles that have BrushSync technology (more on that below).

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Sonicare HX6014/26 Pro Results Brush Heads, White, Pack of 4 Philips Sonicare HX6014/26 Pro Results Brush Heads, White, Pack of 4 977 Reviews £34.50 £14.75
Philips Sonicare Optimal Plaque Defence BrushSync Enabled Replacement Brush Heads, 4pk, White - HX9024/12 Philips Sonicare Optimal Plaque Defence BrushSync Enabled Replacement Brush Heads, 4pk, White -... 79 Reviews £34.50 £21.31

There may well be one better suited to you, which you can decide upon based on the information provided below.

I explain all the different Philips Sonicare brush heads in detail on this page and make it easier for you to understand which brush head to opt for.

I’ve also created our own comparison & compatibility chart to help with this, and listed all the brush heads available to buy here.

Best Sonicare brush head for sensitive teeth

For some brushing teeth can be a more difficult experience than for others, particularly if you suffer from sensitive teeth and gums.

Whether this is something you have always suffered from or whether as a result of surgery or infection, then there are options which can ease the process of cleaning your teeth with a Sonicare electric brush, but still bring many of the benefits.

In this instance you will require the G2 Optimal Gum Care toothbrush head.

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Sonicare Optimal Gum Care BrushSync Enabled Replacement brush Heads, 4pk, White - HX9034/12 Philips Sonicare Optimal Gum Care BrushSync Enabled Replacement brush Heads, 4pk, White - HX9034/12 64 Reviews £34.50 £21.98

For maximum effect, use the Sensitive brush head with the sensitive or gum health cleaning mode available on many Sonicare toothbrushes.

The G2 Optimal Gum Care head is BrushSync compatible.

It is possible to use any of the Sonicare brush heads with the sensitive cleaning mode on Sonicare brush handle, but the clean and experience may not be as enjoyable if you suffer from sensitive gums.

If you regularly experience sensitive teeth and gums, you should seek further advice from a dentist as you may need to consider a change in diet, specialist toothpastes or even dental treatment.

Best Sonicare brush head for braces

The ProResults brush head is the best value for money option.

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Sonicare HX6014/26 Pro Results Brush Heads, White, Pack of 4 Philips Sonicare HX6014/26 Pro Results Brush Heads, White, Pack of 4 977 Reviews £34.50 £14.75

It is easy to think that you need specialist brushes, and they do exist. However, with a Sonicare electric toothbrush you can use any of the brush heads safely with braces, you do not need a special brush head.

Competing brand Oral-B do recommend an Ortho brush head, but even your favourite Sonicare brush head will work effectively at cleaning away plaque and food debris if you should have braces.

The C2 Optimal Plaque Defence is better suited to those brush handles that have BrushSync technology (more on that below).

This video explains the cleaning process around braces with a Sonicare brush.

Best Sonicare brush head for whitening teeth

The W2 Optimal White brush head is the ideal brush head for helping to whiten the teeth.

Preview Product Rating Price
Philips Genuine Sonicare Optimal White Replacement Brush Heads, 4 Pack, White - HX6064/12 Philips Genuine Sonicare Optimal White Replacement Brush Heads, 4 Pack, White - HX6064/12 199 Reviews £34.50 £19.38

Having shiny white teeth can be a real confidence boost and there are few nicer compliments that ‘you have a lovely smile’ or ‘your teeth look great’ and what if you can achieve this without having to undergo cosmetic dentistry.

The W2 Optimial White brush head is optimised to remove surface stains from the exterior surfaces of the teeth, to restore the natural, often whiter colour of your teeth.  Diet and lifestyle habits can cause staining to build up on the tooth surface that makes the teeth look dull and discoloured.

The tightly compacted diamond shaped bristles create a stain-removal pad and offers a superior clean.  This brush head is BrushSync compatible too.

If you have a whitening mode on your toothbrush handle, this is the ideal mode to pair with this brush head to achieve the best whitening effect.

Which Philips electric toothbrush head should I use?

The decision of which Sonicare toothbrush head is ultimately yours, and depends on what you need.

Based on the information provided in this article, hopefully you can make a decision that best reflects your needs and desires.

As a Sonicare brush, all heads offer a sweeping motion like a manual brush and not the oscillating and rotating motion that competing brand Oral-B do.

All Philips toothbrush heads will help to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush whilst improving gum health and your overall oral hygiene.

Each of these have potential advantages based on your specific needs.

Click a brush head type in the list below to jump to a detailed explanation of how it works, a list of places to buy, and a list of brushes it’s compatible with.

  • ProResults – All round cleaning with contoured profile to naturally fit the profile of the teeth and improve overall plaque removal
  • C2 Optimal Plaque Defence – Optimal plaque removal, 7 times more effective than a manual brush the specially curved power tip makes reaching the teeth at the back of your mouth a breeze. BrushSync compatible.
  • G2 Optimal Gum Care – Gentle, yet effective plaque removal, particularly along the gumline to improve gum health. BrushSync compatible.
  • W2 Optimal White – Effective surface stain removal to achieve up to a 100% whiter smile in just 7 days thanks to the Diamond shaped bristles. BrushSync compatible
  • C3 Premium Plaque Defence  – Deepest clean with flexible sides and unique bristle pattern.  4 times more surface contact. Automatically selects optimal cleaning mode for the best results. (Best suited to BrushSync compatible handle)
  • G3 Premium Gum Care – Absorbs excess cleaning pressure to protect the gums. 2 times more surface contact. Automatically selects optimal cleaning mode for the best results. (Best suited to BrushSync compatible handle)
  • W3 Premium White – Helps whiten teeth in just 3 days by removing plaque and surface stains. 4 times more surface contact. Automatically selects optimal cleaning mode for the best results. (Best suited to BrushSync compatible handle)
  • T1 TongueCare+ – BrushSync compatible, this paddle shaped brush head has 240 MicroBristles that clean deep into the pores of the tongue surface.

It is easy to think you need to use all the different Philips electric toothbrush heads to achieve the best clean of your teeth and gums.  You do not.

You can still have white teeth, healthy gums and reduced plaque by using the the W2 Optimal White or W3 Premium White brush heads.

Using the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head may improve your experience but will not mean that your teeth are more stained because it does not aggravate the tooth surface as much.

Cleaning your teeth properly twice a day for 2 minutes each time is the most important part here.

Our full guide explains how to brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush as a poor teeth cleaning approach is more damaging than the incorrect brush head. The reality is each brush head can just give that extra bit of focus in achieving and assisting oral health care goals.

Sonicare Brush Heads Explained

Different brush head styles, with a differing number of brush heads in the pack; it is extremely easy to become overwhelmed by all the different Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads.

You then have to worry as to whether they are compatible with your Sonicare brush handle.

I do hope that this page, complete with detailed explanations and brush head comparisons, will answer many of your questions and help you find the right brush head for you and your Sonicare brush. So let’s jump straight in.

There are 8 main brush types:

There are 8 overarching styles of brush head from Philips, they are:

  • ProResults
  • C2 Optimal Plaque Defence
  • G2 Optimal Gum Care
  • W2 Optimal White
  • C3 Premium Plaque Control
  • G3 Premium Gum Care
  • W3 Premium White
  • T1 Tongue Care+

There is also the Kids range, but more on that later.

You then have different brush head colours

Philips Sonicare produces toothbrush handles in a range of different colours.

White is the default colour for the plastic used to make the brush heads.

White tends to compliment most colours, but in some instances a colour matched brush head can look better.

In addition to the white coloured heads, Sonicare do offer black coloured brush heads.

The only difference with these black coloured heads is the colour of the plastic used.  There are no design or function differences.

The black coloured heads can be purchased in most of the 8 ranges.  However, at the time of writing, you cannot get black coloured versions of:

  • ProResults
  • C2 Optimal Plaque Defence
  • G2 Optimal Gum Care

You then have different pack sizes

Brush head design style considered, you then need to think about the size of the brush head packs.  This is how many brush heads are included when you buy them.

Pack sizes normally start with a minimum of 2 Philips Sonicare brush heads per pack.

Most common are 4 brush heads per pack.  Packs of 6 and 8 are sometimes available.

Specialist brush heads

It can easily be argued that each brush head within the Sonicare range is specialist, in that they are each designed to do something specific.

However, the following are even more specialist. Technically, these are not brush heads, they are nozzles.

Philips produce the AirFloss and AirFloss Pro; a dental flosser, that fires jets of water into the mouth at pressure.

The water is delivered via the slim angled nozzle and guidance tip which makes finding the correct placement easy.

Designed for interdental cleaning, this is another type of product, but I wanted to mention these within this article as the nozzles used are replaceable and can be classed as a head for the flosser.

They come as either a 3 pack in a green colour or a 2 pack in pink.

For the Airfloss, they come as either a 3 pack in a green colour or a 2 pack in pink:

  • Sonicare HX8013 Airfloss Interdental Nozzles (Green) (view on Amazon)
  • Sonicare HX8012/33 Airfloss Interdental Nozzles (Pink) (view on Amazon)

If you have the Airfloss Pro, then you can buy a 3 pack:

  • Sonicare HX8033/26 Airfloss Pro Interdental Nozzles (view on Amazon)

BrushSync (Smart) brush heads

The newest innovation in electric toothbrush technology from Sonicare is the introduction of BrushSync.

This is a technology that offers communication between the brush handle and brush head.

The following video explains what you need to know, but a written explanation is included below also.

BrushSync compatible brush heads communicate with the handle via an RFID chip they have built in.

The technology comprises of 2 different functions.

  • Brush head replacement reminder
  • Mode pairing

The brush head replacement reminder tells you, via an LED on the brush handle when it is time to change or replace your brush head.

When a brush head is fitted to the brush handle for the first time, the chip is detected and the warning light will flash 3 times. This acts as confirmation that the handle has detected the head and that the electronics inside the handle will now keep track of it.

As you use the brush head, the handle continues to track how often it has been used.

The handle knows that the brush head should be replaced every 3 months. So, once the handle detects that the brush head has been used for this amount of time, the ‘BrushSync’ LED on the brush handle will light up an Amber/Orange colour. It is at this point you should fit a new head.

But, things get more intelligent.

If it detects you have brushed 3 times a day every day or brushed with more pressure, it will activate the BrushSync alert sooner, as the bristles will have worn out sooner than the typical 3 month time period.

It will also delay alerting you to replace the Sonicare toothbrush head, if you used that head just once a day over 3 months. It would not tell you to replace it until it had been used for equivalent to 4 minutes a day for 3 months.

As the BrushSync mode pairing name kind of implies, the brush automatically selects the appropriate cleaning mode and intensity based on the brush head attached.

This means that if you fit the W2 Optimal White head to the handle, it will automatically select the White cleaning mode.

If you were to buy and fit the C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head to the handle, it would pair with the ‘Clean’ mode whilst the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head will pair with the Gum Care mode.

The idea of this pairing is to achieve the best cleaning results possible.

Not all brush handles have both BrushSync features. Most common is the head replacement reminder. If the handle has mode pairing, then it will likely have the replacement reminder too.

For BrushSync to function, you must use a BrushSync compatible head, these are:

  • G2 Optimal Gum Care
  • C2 Optimal Plaque Defence
  • W2 Optimal White
  • C3 Premium Plaque Defence
  • G3 Premium Gum Care
  • W3 Premium White

It is perfectly possible to use a non-BrushSync compatible head on a BrushSync enabled handle, but you will not enjoy the benefits it brings, and the BrushSync heads were more expensive at the time of writing.  This is the same if you use one of the BrushSync heads listed on a handle that does not support BrushSync.

Although we have covered everything you need to know above, we have also created a separate article explaining BrushSync.

The heads are interchangeable

Philips Sonicare heads are interchangeable.

This means that all of the brush heads offered by Sonicare work with almost all of the electric toothbrushes.

So, whether you have a Sonicare DiamondClean or ProtectiveClean model you can use any of the previously mentioned brush heads.

There are a few odd exceptions, notably older Sonicare toothbrush models that have different attachments, screw on rather than click on.

One of the biggest benefits of this design and interchangeable nature is that it allows you to take advantage of the different benefits both brush handle and head bring.

If your oral hygiene goal is whiter teeth, you can select a brush handle and appropriate brush head that help achieve this goal.

It also accommodates the needs of families where a brush handle may well be shared amongst different users.

No longer does one person in a household need to have a different brush to another. Share the same handle, just swap the brush head.

Do be aware, that whilst the heads are interchangeable, BrushSync compatible brush heads, must be used with a BrushSync enabled handle for the BrushSync features to function.

Third party or aftermarket alternatives can be purchased. It is advised to only use Philips Sonicare brush heads with the brush handles as performance and wear on the brush using other brush heads cannot be guaranteed.

A look at the individual types of brush head

Now for a little more detail on each of the different brush head types.

ProResults

The Philips Sonicare ProResults is an all round brush head that you will likely wish to opt for if you are not trying to achieve something specific.

Click here to view buying options for the ProResults brush head.

With a design and bristle structure that looks to effectively remove plaque, improve gum health and get to those hard to reach areas, the ProResults head for Sonicare brushes is available in both a standard and compact size, to suit your needs.

With a contoured profile the head and bristles fit naturally to the shape of your teeth to help achieve that all round effective clean. The click on and off brush head includes the reminder bristles which fade from blue to white over 3 months and helps you know when to replace the head.

Suitable for all brush handles from Sonicare with the exception of PowerUP Battery and Essence, the ProResults can deliver over 31,000 brush strokes per minute on the appropriate cleaning mode, achieving the maximum cleaning effectiveness.

The Philips Sonicare ProResults brush head is compatible with:

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean
  • DiamondClean Smart

C2 Optimal Plaque Defence

Sonicare C2 Optimal Plaque Defence

Lots of bristles are packed tightly together to create the shape and sized tufts seen on the Plaque Defence brush head.

Their angle, length and positioning make them effective for all over cleaning and plaque removal.  They are in fact 7 times more effective than a manual toothbrush.

Click here to view buying options for the C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head.

Perfectly suited for those wishing to ensure optimum plaque removal as part of their daily brushing routine, the C2 brush head does also boast a specially designed curvature to the tip of the brush head, that helps reach the very back teeth.

Philips development team have engineered this brush head to make best use of the sonic motion that a Sonicare handle can offer. The dynamic fluid action that is created as a result of the high frequency and high-amplitude brush movements works to offer a deep cleaning action from all areas of the brush head, driving fluid deep between the teeth and along the gumline.

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

It fits all Philips Sonicare toothbrush handles except, PowerUp Battery and Essence.

A built in RFID chip makes this a BrushSync compatible head.

Subject to brush handle, it will pre-select the most appropriate cleaning mode as well as reminding you via an LED on the brush handle, when it requires replacing.

Not as high tech, but effective nonetheless is the reminder system built into the brush head itself.  

The blue coloured bristles on the head fade in time and with use, to a translucent/white colour.

The C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head is compatible with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the C2 Optimal Plaque Defence head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

G2 Optimal Gum Care

Sonicare G2 Optimal Gum Care Heads

Densely packed bristles are organised to create a trim profile that is effective at removing plaque, particularly along the gumline and stimulating better gum health.

Up to a 100% improvement is possible when compared to a manual brush head.

Click here to view buying options for the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head.

Clusters of bristles form a large surface area that covers the whole tooth but reaches up and along the gumline as the brush head is moved tooth to tooth.

Effective plaque removal helps improve and maintain great gum health.

A specially curved power tip aids with reaching the back teeth, so you really do achieve a good all over clean.

When the Sonic motion from the brush motor travels to the bristles tips, the result is a series of movements that create microbubbles that drives toothpaste deep between the teeth and into the soft gum tissue

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

It fits all Philips Sonicare toothbrush handles except, PowerUp Battery and Essence.

The blue coloured bristles on the head are in fact reminder bristles that fade in time and with use.  It is a visual reminder to you as and when the head needs replacing, to ensure you get optimum cleaning results.

However, with this brush head, the reminder may well also come in the form of an LED light on the brush handle thanks to the BrushSync technology built in (brush model dependant).

It will also, with the appropriate handle, select the most appropriate cleaning mode.

The G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head is compatible with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the G2 Optimal Gum Care head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

W2 Optimal White

Sonicare W2 Optimal White Heads

Brighter and whiter teeth often give you the extra confidence to smile.

The Sonicare Optimal White brush head is specially designed to remove up to 100% more stains for whiter teeth in just 7 days.

Click here to view buying options for the W2 Optimal White brush head.

In the middle of the brush head is a tight cluster of bristles that form the whitening pad, that removes the exterior stains found on the tooth surface.

Densely packed, diamond shaped bristles lift stains caused by food, drink and lifestyle habits.

Philips development team have engineered this brush head to make best use of the sonic motion that a Sonicare handle can offer. The dynamic fluid action that is created as a result of the high frequency and high-amplitude brush movements works to offer a deep cleaning action from all areas of the brush head, driving fluid deep between the teeth and along the gumline.

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

It fits all Philips Sonicare toothbrush handles except, PowerUp Battery and Essence.

The blue coloured bristles on the head are in fact reminder bristles that fade in time and with use.  It is a visual reminder to you as and when the head needs replacing, to ensure you get optimum cleaning results.

However, with this brush head, the reminder may well also come in the form of an LED light on the brush handle thanks to the BrushSync technology built in (brush model dependant).

It will also, with the appropriate handle, select the most appropriate cleaning mode.

The W2 Optimal White brush head is compatible with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the W2 Optimal White head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

C3 Premium Plaque Defence

Offering the deepest clean yet for and 4 times more surface contact than a manual brush head, the Plaque Control toothbrush head from Sonicare follows the unique shape of the teeth and gums.

Click here to view buying options for the C3 Premium Plaque Defence brush head.

Flexible sides complement the unique bristle pattern design to remove up to 10 times more plaque, even in the hard to reach areas.  Cleaning thoroughly in between teeth and along the gumline, the soft rubbers sides of the Plaque Defence brush head adapt to the contours of your mouth.

Precision engineered, the brush head makes use of all the sonic vibrations passed out by the brush handles motor.  It whips toothpaste into bubbles and drives them deep between your teeth and along the gumline for gentle and effective cleaning.

This brush head simply clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

This is no ordinary brush head though.  Thanks to a built in chip, when you fit onto a compatible brush handle, the microchip communicates with the brush handle to launch the optimum cleaning mode and intensity level for the most effective plaque removal experience.

Fading reminder bristles are present to help you recognise when it is time to change the head (recommendation of every 3 months).  But better still, if using a smart Sonicare brush handle the brush will monitor how often the head is used and how hard you brush and remind you at precisely the right time to change.

The C3 Premium Plaque Defence brush head is compatible with:

C3 Premium Plaque Defence brush heads are ideally suited to work with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the C3 Premium Plaque Defence head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

G3 Premium Gum Care

Taking the pressure out of the brushing motion to offer a softer, more enjoyable clean, you can have gums up to 7 times healthier in just 2 weeks.

Click here to view buying options for the C3 Premium Gum Care brush head.

Flexible sides and bristles absorb excess pressure so that your gums are protected, even when you brush too hard.

The bristles work to remove as much plaque and bacteria from along the gumline to improve your gum health.

Capable of removing up to 10 times more plaque than a manual brush, whilst achieving 2 times more surface contact, the Gum Care brush head makes use of all the sonic vibrations passed out by the brush handles motor.  It whips toothpaste into bubbles and drives them deep between your teeth and along the gumline for gentle and effective cleaning.

This brush head simply clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

This is no ordinary brush head though.  Thanks to a built in chip, when you fit onto a compatible brush handle, the microchip communicates with the brush handle to launch the optimum cleaning mode and intensity level for the most effective plaque removal experience.

Fading reminder bristles are present to help you recognise when it is time to change the head (recommendation of every 3 months).  But better still, if using a smart Sonicare brush handle the brush will monitor how often the head is used and how hard you brush and remind you at precisely the right time to change.

The C3 Premium Gum Care brush head is compatible with:

G3 Premium Gum Care brush heads are ideally suited to work with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the G3 Premium Gum Care head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

W3 Premium White

More effective at removing plaque and staining on the tooth surfaces, within just 3 days whiter teeth are possible.

Click here to view buying options for the W3 Premium White brush head.

Flexible sides lets the bristles move to the exact shape of your teeth and mouth whilst absorbing excess pressure.

The bristles work to remove as much plaque and bacteria from the tooth surfaces for healthier and whiter teeth.

Capable of removing up to 10 times more plaque than a manual brush, whilst achieving 4 times more surface contact, the Premium White brush head makes use of all the sonic vibrations passed out by the brush handles motor.  It whips toothpaste into bubbles and drives them deep between your teeth and along the gumline for gentle and effective cleaning.

This brush head simply clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

This is no ordinary brush head though.  Thanks to a built in chip, when you fit onto a compatible brush handle, the microchip communicates with the brush handle to launch the optimum cleaning mode and intensity level for the most effective plaque removal experience.

Fading reminder bristles are present to help you recognise when it is time to change the head (recommendation of every 3 months).  But better still, if using a smart Sonicare brush handle the brush will monitor how often the head is used and how hard you brush and remind you at precisely the right time to change.

The W3 Premium White brush head is compatible with:

W3 Premium White brush heads are ideally suited to work with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean Smart
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the W3 Premium White head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

T1 TongueCare+

Designed to clean the pores of the tongue surface to aid an all over mouth clean and get to the areas most commonly associated with bad breath.

Click here to view buying options for the T1 TongueCare+ brush head.

The TongueCare+ brush head is a specialist head that has a more unique design than most.

The paddle shaped head contains 240 MicroBristles.

The ergonomic shape of the head enables you to reach every part of your tongue.  The small and flexible head makes it easy to clean away bad-breath causing bacteria that gets trapped in the tiny pores of the tongues surface.

This brush head simply clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

This is no ordinary brush head though.  Thanks to a built-in chip, when you fit onto a compatible brush handle, the microchip communicates with the brush handle to launch the optimum cleaning mode and intensity level for the most effective plaque removal experience.

The T1 TongueCare+ brush head is compatible with:

T1 TongueCare+ brush head is ideally suited to work with:

  • DiamondClean Smart

This is the only brush in the Sonicare range with a dedicate tongue cleaning mode.

Despite this, it will work with:

  • ExpertClean
  • ProtectiveClean
  • Any other Sonicare model with BrushSync mode pairing

It is possible to use the T1 TongueCare+ head on the following models, but the ‘Smart’ feature of the brush head WILL NOT work.

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • DiamondClean

What cleaning modes do Sonicare brushes have?

Philips Sonicare have created 8 different brushing modes for their toothbrushes.

The maximum number any one toothbrush model has is 5 modes.

The majority, have just 1 mode, the standard ‘Clean’ mode.

The exact number of modes and what modes they are does vary from one model to another.

The main cleaning modes available across the Sonicare range are:

  1. Clean
  2. White/White+
  3. Deep Clean/Deep Clean+
  4. Gum Care/Gum Health
  5. Sensitive
  6. Massage
  7. Refresh
  8. Tongue Care

I explain each of these modes in more detail in our post on Sonicare cleaning modes.

To find out which brushes have which cleaning mode, please refer to the comparison table later in this article.

What do the Sonicare brush head model numbers mean?

This is a question I cannot provide a definitive answer to.

Each style of brush head and pack contents has a different model number that Philips Sonicare use internally to differentiate their different products.

All the brush head part numbers start with HX followed by 4 numbers then there is often a forward slash (/) and two more numbers. For example: HX6074/26

The only consistent figure I know of that you can use to help identify a pack, is the 4th digit after the 2 letters.  Using the above example I mean the 4.

This relates to the number of brush heads included in the pack.  2 if there are 2 brush heads, 4 if 4 heads are included, 6 and 8, you get the idea.

So there we have it, that is all I know about Sonicare brush heads.  I hope this has helped.  If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Where to buy – the full Sonicare electric toothbrush head range

Sonicare have many different stockists of their brush heads.

Not all stockists stock all styles or pack sizes, those that sell the widest range include:

The following is a list of all the current brush head styles, pack sizes and colour options available.

For simplicity’s sake, I have included an Amazon link to one listing of each brush head type.

  • ProResults (view on Amazon)
    • 8 pack
      • White – HX6018/26
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX6014/26
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX6012/26
  • C2 Optimal Plaque Defence (view on Amazon)
    • 8 pack
      • White – HX9028/12
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX9024/12
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX9022/12
  • G2 Optimal Gum Care (view on Amazon)
    • 8 pack
      • White – HX9038/12
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX9034/12
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX9032/12
  • W2 Optimal White (view on Amazon)
    • 8 pack
      • White – HX6068/12
      • Black – HX6068/13
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX6064/12
      • Black – HX6064/13
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX6062/12
      • White – HX6062/13
  • C3 Premium Plaque Defence (view on Amazon)
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX9044/17
      • Black – HX9044/33
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX9042/17
      • Black – HX9041/33
  • G3 Premium Gum Care (view on Amazon)
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX9054/14
      • Black – HX9054/33
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX9052/17
      • Black – HX9052/33
  • W3 Premium White (view on Amazon)
    • 4 pack
      • White – HX9064/17
      • Black – HX9064/33
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX9062/12
      • Black – HX9062/33
  • T1 TongueCare+(view on Amazon)
    • 2 pack
      • White – HX8072/80

Sonicare brush head comparison chart

To make things a bit easier to understand, I have created our own brush heads comparison chart to act as a visual aid when choosing a new brush head: ​

Which brush heads are compatible with my Sonicare electric toothbrush?

Unless you own a Sonicare E-Series (Essence) or PowerUp brush handle, all of the Philips Sonicare replacement heads shown will fit and work with your Sonicare electric toothbrush.

The Sonicare AirFloss Nozzle will not work with all of the brush handles. They fit only the Sonicare Airfloss.

Sonicare brush heads for kids

Specifically designed for children these heads are designed to work with Sonicare’s children’s toothbrush.

They do technically fit to the adult range of brushes, but you are best using the heads I have explained above.

The kids brush heads come in 2 sizes, standard and compact.

With a contoured profile to fit your child’s teeth, the standard sized heads are most suited to children aged 7+whilst the smaller compact option are best suited to kids aged 3+.

Soft bristles for a gentle cleaning experience helps encourage children to brush for longer and assists in education of the importance of regular cleaning.

Featuring a rubber moulding on the back of the brush head for safer, more pleasant cleaning. Both will help remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush, but the larger brush head used by children aged 7+ can remove as much as 7 times more.

Simple to replace, click on and off just like adult heads.

You can buy them in the following pack sizes, all available here from Amazon:

The Sonicare For Kids brush head is compatible with:

Sonicare For Kids brush heads work with a more select range of brush handles, these are:

  • For Kids
  • For Kids with Bluetooth

How and when to replace the brush heads

Replace your brush head every 3 months.

What might appear to be a perfectly acceptable and usable brush head can be doing more damage than you may think.

It is vitally important that the brush head on your Sonicare toothbrush is replaced every 3 months. This is a general consensus among the dentistry profession.

A new brush head should last on average 3 months, but for some users you may need to replace the brush head sooner.

As a head is used, the bristles become worn, they can fray and become softer and less effective.

When new, bristles are normally quite tightly formed in a group together but over weeks of use will gradually start to part. It is at this stage that the brush heads lose their effectiveness and could be doing more damage to the tooth surfaces and your gums.

Reminder bristles will act to encourage you to replace them when necessary if you do not mark the replacement date in your diary or subscribe to services that deliver new heads every 3 months to you.

For those using a BrushSync compatible handle and brush head, the Amber BrushSync LED will illuminate to alert you when a replacement head is required.

Fading Indicator & Reminder Bristles

It is all too easy to forget when the brush head on your handle was last changed.

Philips Sonicare heads have reminder or indicator bristles, that give you a guide to the usable life left.

Particular bristles on the head will start out blue and will over a 3 month period fade to become white.

The lighter the bristles, the older and more worn the brush head is.

At first glance it may not be obvious, but brush heads lose stiffness and gradually wear down over months of normal use.

For optimal results, replace your brush head every three months.

Bristle Condition

Take a look at the bristles, are they still fairly uniform in their direction and look.  Does the bristle layout look similar to when the brush head was new?

If bristles are shorter, frayed or all over the place then it is time to change.

Brushing with too much pressure is often a cause of wearing out brush heads quicker than normal.

How to replace Sonicare electric toothbrush heads – click on and off

How do you replace the heads on the Sonicare brushes? In two simple stages.

1. Pull the brush head away from the brush handle with a small amount of force to release the connection. There will likely be a click and you will revel a metal prong that is the shaft that connects to the motor. The head is now detached.

2. Fit a brush head by pushing the metal tip of the brush motor at the top of the brush handle into the hole in the bottom of the brush head.  As the two are pushed together there will be a click, the head is now attached.

Discontinued Philips Sonicare Toothbrush Heads

It happens fairly infrequently, but every few years, the range of Philips Sonicare heads alters.

The change to their range is to give you and me the best cleaning experience, when using a Sonicare toothbrush.

The newer brush heads are often more efficient, benefit from improved quality, the latest manufacturing standards and can have new technology built in.

Approximately midway though 2019, Philips Sonicare refreshed their toothbrush head range.

Prior to 2019, brush heads could be purchased in a standard and compact size.  This option has been removed.

Subsequently, this has meant that a number of brush heads have been discontinued.

Although Sonicare no longer manufacture these heads, stock has and will continue to remain available for some time after.

The following is a list of brush heads that Sonicare used to manufacture, but have now discontinued.

DiamondClean

The DiamondClean toothbrush head for Sonicare electric toothbrushes can remove up to 100% more stains for whiter teeth in just 7 days.

Specially designed Diamond-shaped bristles assist in achieving whitening.

This head features a central stain-removal pad, made from densely packed diamond-shaped bristles, to remove surface stains caused by food, drinks and smoking.

Philips development team have engineered this brush head to make best use of the sonic motion that a Sonicare handle can offer. The dynamic fluid action that is created as a result of the high frequency and high-amplitude brush movements works to offer a deep cleaning action from all areas of the brush head, driving fluid deep between the teeth and along the gumline.

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

It fits all Philips Sonicare toothbrush handles except, PowerUp Battery and Essence.

Reminder bristles ensure your most effective clean At first glance it may not be obvious, but brush heads lose stiffness and gradually wear down over months of normal use.  Blue reminder bristles fade to white and help you recognise when it’s time for a replacement. For optimal results, replace your brush head every three months.

The DiamondClean brush head is compatible with:

DiamondClean brush heads work with most Sonicare ‘click on’ compatible brush handles including:

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean
  • DiamondClean Smart

AdaptiveClean

4 times more surface contact than a DiamondClean brush head, the AdaptiveClean toothbrush head from Sonicare follows the unique shape of the teeth and gums.

A soft, flexible rubber sided head allows the bristles of the brush to adjust to the shape of each tooth’s surface.

As such this can lead to up to 10 times more plaque removal than a manual toothbrush along the gum line and between teeth.  Even the hardest to reach areas get a deep clean, that is still gentle on the gums.

Tracking along the gum line the rubber sides of the brush head absorbs excessive pressure you might apply, further protecting the soft tissue.

Offering the deepest clean, the Sonicare electric toothbrush is not as effective without such an engineered brush head.  Taking full advantage of the high-frequency and high-amplitude brush movements, performing over 31,000 strokes per minute, the brush head takes that power and drives toothpaste and fluid deep in between teeth.

This brush head simply clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning and is compatible with all Sonicare brushes with the exception of PowerUp Battery and Essence models.

Fading reminder bristles are also present to help you recognise when it is time to change brush head, if you did not mark this within your diary.

The AdaptiveClean brush head is compatible with:

AdaptiveClean brush heads work with most Sonicare ‘click on’ compatible brush handles including:

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean
  • DiamondClean Smart

InterCare

Designed to reach deep between teeth and into hard to reach areas the InterClean brush heads feature extra-long, high-density bristles to target hidden plaque caught deep between teeth and in other hard-to-clean areas.

Available in the standard and compact size the InterCare brush head like the others available, takes full advantage of the power delivered by the different Sonicare brush handles.

The powerful motor drives a high-frequency and high-amplitude brush movements to perform over 31,000 strokes per minute.  The result is the power fully extends from the brush handle all the way to the tip of the brush head.

Within the mouth the result is a dynamic fluid action that drives fluid deep between teeth, even in hard to reach areas and along the gum line.

Suitable for a variety of users, but particularly those looking to improve gum health.   In just 2 weeks the results can be seen and Phillips suggest up to 7 times more plaque removal than a manual brush.

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

It fits all Philips Sonicare toothbrush handles except, PowerUp Battery and Essence.

Reminder bristles ensure your most effective clean At first glance it may not be obvious, but brush heads lose stiffness and gradually wear down over months of normal use. Blue reminder bristles fade to white and help you recognise when it’s time for a replacement.

For optimal results, replace your brush head every three months.

The InterCare brush head is compatible with:

InterCare brush heads work with most Sonicare ‘click on’ compatible brush handles including:

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean
  • DiamondClean Smart

Sensitive

Bleeding and sensitive gums can be a sign of poor oral health, it can also be as a result of dental work or you can be prone to suffering with this more than most.

The Sensitive brush head is designed to make the experience of cleaning your teeth with a Sonicare electric toothbrush that bit better.

The stiffness of the bristles are 25% less than a normal brush head resulting in a less abrasive feeling as the power of the motor delivers the clean to the teeth and gums.

To further offer a softer yet effective clean, the head has a trim profile that cushions the teeth

All Sonicare electric toothbrush handles can use the Sensitive brush head with the exception of PowerUp Battery and Essence.

Pair this brush head with the Sensitive, Gum Care or Massage cleaning modes available on Sonicare brushes to ensure the power delivery is not too much and works to ease the pain you may suffer.

This brush head clicks on and off your brush handle for a secure fit and easy maintenance and cleaning.

Reminder bristles ensure your most effective clean At first glance it may not be obvious, but brush heads lose stiffness and gradually wear down over months of normal use. Blue reminder bristles fade to white and help you recognise when it’s time for a replacement. For optimal results, replace your brush head every three months.

The Sensitive brush head is compatible with:

Sensitive brush heads work with most Sonicare ‘click on’ compatible brush handles including:

  • 2 Series
  • 3 Series
  • 5 Series
  • CleanCare
  • DailyClean
  • EasyClean
  • ExpertClean
  • FlexCare
  • FlexCare Platinum
  • FlexCare+
  • HealthyWhite
  • ProtectiveClean
  • DiamondClean
  • DiamondClean Smart

Related Posts

Jon Love

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

Read More

Leave a comment or question

20 thoughts on “Philips Sonicare Heads: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. Hi Jon
    Fantastic review, can I get a round brush head to fit this toothbrush? I have looked and see that Sonicare don’t do one, however can I use a different model head?
    Many thanks
    Yvonne

    Reply
    • Hi Yvonne.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      It is not possible to fit a small round brush head to a Sonicare toothbrush handle.

      IF you want this, you will need to opt for an Oral-B toothbrush.

      Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Sonicare and Oral-B use different technology for their brush heads, and Sonicare does not make round brush heads in the same style as Oral-B.

      Reply
  2. Hi I own a Philips HX939B tooth brush,it was an expensive item £150 in Argos I can’t seem to see any brush heads that fit my machine can anyone help with a compatible genuine Philips brush….thanks

    Reply
    • Ron,

      If my info serves me correctly, all of these listed here will fit.

      You have a Sonicare DiamondClean brush handle. If you need more assistance, let me know.

      Reply
    • Hi. When you say it spays water, you mean out of your mouth? If so, perhaps bringing the lips closed together to create less of a gap for water to escape.

      Reply
  3. A very different subject: My now-deceased husband and I have used Soncicare Electric toothbrush probably since they were initially on the market—he died in ’99 and we were using multiple brush heads with a single handle. But our brush heads screw on, not click. I’m now on the second brush handle after several decades and it, too, has a screw-on brush head; a family member just brought home a package from Target, and I could not tell until I opened it that it is not the correct type. How do I purchase the screw-on type that I need for my Sonicare brush handle?

    Reply
  4. I agree with A Stephenson,; excellent article.
    Can you tell me how to mark my toothbrush head and my husbands to differentiate them, please?
    My last Oral B toothbrushes (nothing like as good as the Sonicare) had the advantage of coloured rings but I can find no way of identifying mine from his, except by marker pens, which rub off!!!
    Many thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Gilly,

      Pleased to hear you found the article helpful. 🙂

      Well assuming you are using the same style brush head as your husband, then sadly, to my knowledge there is no easy solution when using the official brush heads.

      Your idea of a marker pen is good, but if they rub off not great. Some have opted to put stickers on neck of their brush heads, but I know of not ‘better’ solution.

      Whilst I do not endorse 3rd party brush heads as the best, there are some very good options. Our article on aftermarket brush heads looks at some options.

      There are the these heads available on Amazon, for Sonicare, but have the coloured rings like Oral-B. I have some of these myself and I would struggle to fault them really for the quality of their overall clean and performance for the price. At the time of writing they are more expensive. I believe I paid around £12ish.

      Reply
    • Hi.

      Can you give a little more information on the interdental brush you are referring to. What did it come with? Which kit are you referring to?

      Reply
      • Yes, after looking closer, its not rubber, it has a small, pointed bristle head. It came with my SonicFX base, and set of brushes. I think they are called “interdental” brushes on their reorder web page.

        Reply
        • Hi.

          Thanks for the extra information.

          This page has all the brush heads available for Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes, but the brush head you speak of has been supplied by a different brand/toothbrush, made by SonicFX.

          I know what type of brush head you now mean as many of the far eastern branded toothbrushes come with these.

          The idea is you use it in a similar way that you would an interdental brush such as those made by Tepe if you have ever used one of them.

          You place it in-between the teeth to help clean interdental spaces. It depends how helpful you find it, but I have typically found floss or proper interdental brushes to be more effective.

          Here are some pages that might be useful to you.

          Interdental Brushes – All you need to know
          Interdental cleaning – Floss vs interdental brushes

          Reply
Leave a comment